Order Lepidoptera encompasses both Butterflies and Moths with around 12,000 species found across North America. Interestingly, Moths make up the greater number of the two with fewer than 1,000 being Butterfly species. The Butterfly-like 'Skipper' is also part of the group but noted for their shorter, stockier bodies. Butterflies and Moths are a very common sight throughout the state of Tennessee throughout the summer months, Butterflies found during the day and Moths more likely to be encountered during the evening / night time hours.
Common Name: "Bicolored Sallow Moth"
Other Names: "Shield-backed Cutworm (caterpillar)"
Scientific Name: Sunira bicolorago
TAXONOMIC BREAKDOWN: The Taxonomic Breakdown is the scientific way to categorize a partocular insect species from its largest group (Animalia) to its smallest (variable). The Genus and Species categorizations taken together make up the species' scientific name shown above, in this case Sunira bicolorago.
Antenna: Antenna are noticeably apparent on this insect.
Nocturnal: Most likely to be spotted during night time hours.
Six-Legged: Six legs are common to this insect.
Striped / Banded: Noticeable stripes or banding pattern.
Winged: Has wings to hop or fly over distance.
The Bicolored Sallow Moth is also known by these other names:
Shield-backed Cutworm (caterpillar)
The Bicolored Sallow Moth has been identified by site users by the following descriptors:
brown   tan   beige   purple   gray   grey   white   winged   wings   striped   stripes   dotted   pattern   antenna   six-legged   dusk   night time   eyes   large
The general likelihood of encountering this insect based on a given month of the year in the state of Tennessee. Generally, the best sighting months are June through August with peak occurring in July.
Below is a representation of the 'smallest-small' and 'largest-large' sizes commonly associated with the Bicolored Sallow Moth. Due to monitor differences, sizes may not be exact on your particular screen. Conversions to millimeters are provided for convenience.
0.71 inches (18 mm)
0.79 inches (20 mm)
Below you will find the colors most commonly associated with the Bicolored Sallow Moth. Both Primary and Secondary colors are represented in the showcase. Due to monitor differences, colors may not be exact representations.
The Bicolored Sallow Moth can be found in the following Tennessee counties:
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